Nebari challenge

Bonsai Nut

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Here's an interesting black pine on sale at Yahoo! Auctions Japan for approx. $950. A stunning trunk line, but needs a final design.



Additionally, you have this nebari to "deal with". So my question for everyone here - how many like the nebari the way it is? How many would change it, and if so, how would you undertake it?

 

Tachigi

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Hate the Nebari, tree is fair to middlin. This tree in my opinion was forgotten about if collected for bonsai. You can see see where the pot walls have shaped the roots. This one I would pass on, not enough years in my life to correct these faults. I would say it has a bright future as a Japanese garden piece.
 

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You can see see where the pot walls have shaped the roots.
I have never tried to untangle something like this. Do you think it would survive if you bare-rooted it, untangled the roots, spread them out and repotted?
 

Tachigi

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I have never tried to untangle something like this. Do you think it would survive if you bare-rooted it, untangled the roots, spread them out and repotted?
I don't think you could untangle them. My personal feelings is that most of them are probably fused together. However if I'm wrong (which wouldn't be the first time) I think you'd have to have a huge masochistic streak in you to attempt it. I have learned overtime, sometimes its just best to walk away from some material, there is always something that will go with the flow down the road. Especially from this Japanese auction site.
 

Graydon

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The trunk makes up for the pitiful nebari. I would always attempt to do something on a tree like this. I only say that as Florida is somewhat barren of any nice material besides the tropical stuff. It may not be world class material, or even National class materiasl but for regional stock it's great. I know - that's like being the tallest midget in the circus.

I would not attempt to do much root separation without seeing what is going on below the surface. Just above where the three fingers come off the base would be a good place to graft some smaller pines as future nebari. I would hesitate trying a layer on this one. Some patient grafting of seelings with future nebari could work...
 

PaulStokes

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I would have to call that a tangled mess rather than a nebari.
No thanks
-Paul

Woh. . . Déjà Vu
 

JasonG

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The only option that I would see to do would be several root grafts then chop off the current mess that is there.
Once you get above that ugly root mess it isn't a bad tree..... Looks like it has been neglected for several years.... to bad!

Jason
 

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Perhaps you could try to air-layer it? That might be the easiest (although risky) option.
 

cbobgo

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I'd go with jason's suggestion - root grafting is probably going to be more succesful than trying to air layer. Also safer. Plus you have the ability to put the roots right where you want them.

- bob
 
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A lot would depend on what is underneath the soil surface, maybe another part is there that can be incorporated into a Shari with some roots or the trunk, who knows?

Once the hidden assets, or lack of, are inspected, there is always the reasonably safe method of "ground layering", which allows one to be cautious when creating new roots without risking damaging the tree as much as an air-layer well could with a pine.

Nick Lenz might put a demon caged behind those vertical roots (bars).

There is always a solution.


Will
 
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Tachigi

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Nick Lenz might put a demon caged behind those vertical roots (bars).
Thats a cool idea Will, and I wouldn't bet against it. However I think he'd have his work cut out getting them away from the trunk to get the little guy in.
 

Graydon

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I was just looking at the Stone Lantern Pine book. The article that caught my eye was Kimura doing a JWP (page 20 for those that want to follow along at home). That tree does have much better roots than this one but nothing we would call a nebari. I still don't see a flaw on this tree - I see a covered or disguised feature.

Not to call the neigh sayers "bonsai snobs" but I'll take material like this all day long. Sure, there's better stuff and there's done stuff. I want to work on my trees, to learn and to try to change things I can and to accept those that I can't while I figure out exploits to change things I can't.
 
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Hate the Nebari, tree is fair to middlin. This tree in my opinion was forgotten about if collected for bonsai. You can see see where the pot walls have shaped the roots. This one I would pass on, not enough years in my life to correct these faults. I would say it has a bright future as a Japanese garden piece.
Many trees collected for bonsai have been neglected for years, primarily because the collector or purchaser did not know what to do with them. I would love a shot at this tree.

I have never tried to untangle something like this. Do you think it would survive if you bare-rooted it, untangled the roots, spread them out and repotted?
Absolutely not!

The trunk makes up for the pitiful nebari. I would always attempt to do something on a tree like this. I only say that as Florida is somewhat barren of any nice material besides the tropical stuff. It may not be world class material, or even National class materiasl but for regional stock it's great. I know - that's like being the tallest midget in the circus.

I would not attempt to do much root separation without seeing what is going on below the surface. Just above where the three fingers come off the base would be a good place to graft some smaller pines as future nebari. I would hesitate trying a layer on this one. Some patient grafting of seelings with future nebari could work...
I absolutely agree with you Graydon! The collected tree does not live by the "rules" we arbitrarily place on "manufactured" trees. This tree may not need a fantastic nebari.

A lot would depend on what is underneath the soil surface, maybe another part is there that can be incorporated into a Shari with some roots or the trunk, who knows?

Once the hidden assets, or lack of, are inspected, there is always the reasonably safe method of "ground layering", which allows one to be cautious when creating new roots without risking damaging the tree as much as an air-layer well could with a pine.

Nick Lenz might put a demon caged behind those vertical roots (bars).

There is always a solution.

Will
There is always a solution, and "ground-layering" may be one aspect of that. Sometimes the best solution is not to worry about a solution.

I was just looking at the Stone Lantern Pine book. The article that caught my eye was Kimura doing a JWP (page 20 for those that want to follow along at home). That tree does have much better roots than this one but nothing we would call a nebari. I still don't see a flaw on this tree - I see a covered or disguised feature.

Not to call the neigh sayers "bonsai snobs" but I'll take material like this all day long. Sure, there's better stuff and there's done stuff. I want to work on my trees, to learn and to try to change things I can and to accept those that I can't while I figure out exploits to change things I can't.
Graydon, you and I are kopacetic on this one.

I would start working on this tree from the bottom up. Check out the roots. Obviously, the tangled mess at the base of the tree is pretty unacceptable, so it has to go. Do we layer? I think the first step is to hide it by planting the tree deeper. Finding a way to work from the bottom and make the root pad shallower will allow a deeper planting. There will be zero nebari, but with a collected tree this is not as big a flaw. It's not ideal, but we can work around it. Depending on the condition of the rootball, at that time I would probably try the ground layering thing by opening windows on the bark and using root hormone.

Even without any nebari whatsoever, a proper restyling on this tree would make a spectacular tree that I would love to have.
 

Tachigi

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This tree may not need a fantastic nebariQUOTE]

Hi Chris, If you want a good to great tree, a good nebari is a keystone in the creation of a tree. So I don't know if I can agree with you on this post. Lets face facts on this tree, it has pitiful nebari, we only have one view of the tree and I suspect there's some big time flaws up top. The time invested in this tree to bring it back to minimum standards would take a incredible amount of time.

I know at 48 my time is measured. I would much prefer to invest my energy into something I will influence in my life time. Time spent on a tree like this would not be maximizing my potential and that of other material. Saying that, if my 10 year old daughter saw that tree and said I want to give it a shot, then I might so be inclined as she might see it reach its potential.

Let this tree go, walk away and invest in something that you will influence, unless your 10 years old:)
 

John Hill

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Why couldn’t one start choking the bad roots to get rid of them? I am doing this on a black pine that I got next to nothing because of the bad roots. I just take a piece of heavy wire and wrap the root and start strangling heck out of it. Then remove it at the trunk in a year or so depending on the caliper of the root. But at the same time you could plant it deeper into a pot and layer it also. I would take this tree in a heartbeat but would not pay too much for it though.
Just a thought?

A Friend in Bonsai
John
 

Graydon

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The cool thing is we are discussing a tree we will never have. Not a chance to get it - but there are points to be discussed and opinions to be formed.

I can agree that a nebari is the first thing to look at - I did on this one and then I moved on up the trunk to the structure of the tree. I don't know how many of you have JBP or how many of them you have. I have too many but always have room for more. None of mine have killer nebari. I'm not some bonsai master, I'm simply a backyard collector. I can say that those that I do have are slowly being improved. By far the hardest thing to make better on a pine is the nebari. Trunks can be bent, branches split or grafted. But nebari - that's a whole lot of work. I'm 40. Give me 20 more years with this pine and you could have that nebari. Give me 20 years and the seedlings from this year will have killer nebari as well.

I agree with Chris - I would forget the nebari and bury it deep for now. I would be happy with a killer pine without a nebari. I could go as far as 'grafting' on fake roots using epoxy and bark chunks. Most of you would be none the wiser. A little epoxy sculpt, some good painting and gluing of salvaged bark and *presto* killer tree!
 

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Give me 20 more years with this pine and you could have that nebari.
I read an interesting article about an old japanese tree that was completely rootbound in a bonsai pot. I think they had to break the pot to remove it. The roots were a mess. What they did was create a 6 year plan to fix the roots. They visually divided the root ball into 6 equal pieces like slices of a pie. Each year they would repot the tree and completely bareroot 1/6th of the roots - removing all old soil and dead roots, trimming roots, rearranging, etc. The rest of the roots they would leave alone. The following year they would move to the next "slice". Because they were only doing this to 1/6th of the tree each year, and the rest of the roots were intact and well-fed, the tree flourished throughout this treatment.
 

John Hill

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This is one black pine that I have been working with , it has a terrible nebari. It even had a root growing way up the trunk. I choked it off and many more below. So far so good. I would say in the next few years it will be somewhat presentable.

your thoughts?

A Friend in bonsai
John
 

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I'm afraid no one would ever be able to forget the Nebari on this tree, it is so blatantly bad as is. The trunk and the Nebari are very important for the over all image, a solution is indeed needed to bring this to the next level. Be it a one year or a 10 year plan, a plan certainly needs to be formed.

I can also assure you that the price would be quite a bit higher if the Nebari was decent.


Will
 

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